These news pieces come by courtesy of the IPS News Service, an awesome, but overlooked in the U.S., news agency.
Take this article by IPS, titled Iraqi Hopes Dim Through Worst Year of Occupation:
“I wish I could flee to any third world country and work in garbage collection rather than stay here and live like a frightened rat,” Adel Mohammed Aziz, a teacher from Baghdad told IPS. “We are all living in fear for our lives; death chases us all around..”
Live in a third world country and work in the garbage, than live in Iraq. How does that square with President’s Bush rosy “we are winning in Iraq” babble talk?
Also, forget about children in Iraq enjoying any of the fruits of the “democracy” Bush has brought there. Not only is Iraq lagging in all health indicators, but in education as well:
Statistics released by the ministry in October showed that a mere 30 percent of Iraq’s 3.5 million students are currently attending classes. This compares to roughly 75 percent of students who were attending classes the previous year, according to the Britain-based NGO Save the Children.
Just before the U.S.-led invasion in spring 2003, school attendance was nearly 100 percent.
Iraqis are forgetting almost what a child needs. Dr. Ahmed Aaraji of the Baghdad Societal Organisation, an Iraqi NGO which monitors the state of Iraqi schools and families in an effort to assist families where possible, is trying to remind everyone what that should be.
[…]Iraq was awarded The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) prize for eradicating illiteracy in 1982. At that time, literacy rates for women were among the highest of all Islamic nations.
(All emphasis is mine)
Not only that, but Iraq is fast becoming the worst refugee crisis in the world – yes, even eclipsing the situation in some African nations.
The displacement of Iraqis from Iraq is currently the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, according to the Washington-based group Refugees International which works towards providing humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced people.
The United Nations estimates that at least 2.3 million Iraqis have fled the growing violence in their country. They estimate that 1.8 million Iraqis have fled to surrounding countries, while another half million have vacated their homes for safer areas within Iraq. An estimated 40,000 people are leaving Iraq every month for Syria alone, according to the UN.
And that is not counting the 600,000 innocent Iraqis that have died in the Iraq War (according to the Lancet scientific journal, link to PDF report), so yes, we can conclude that it is pretty fucking bad for Iraqis.
At least, ever-growing faithful readers, you can rest assured that our Decider-in-Chief can sleep soundly at night. The president of the U.S. started a war on false pretenses that thus far has resulted in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilinas, lost all of our allies, bled the treasury dry, and he’s resting well.